Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Destash February 6. 2018

Destash packages, each package cost is $20, cost of shipping for small flat rate box is $7.05, so a total of $27.05 PLEASE READ BELOW IF INTERNATIONAL BUYER:

IMPORTANT: for international buyers, the cost of shipping is, unfortunately, much higher not just $7 but $23.50. I am sorry and I apologize but I don't control the increased costs of international shipping - I am not a big company to get discounts for shipping extensively. This cost is for regular Global Priority, the cheapest option, and it can take from 1 to 3 weeks to receive the package, depending where on the planet you are located.
So if that doesn't bother you and you still wish to purchase one of my packages, please contact me. I will send you an invoice through Paypal and as soon as you purchase I will mark the package as "sold"
Also be aware that I need to physically go to the post office to mail your package. As I am disabled, I rely on my best friend to give me rides, so I wouldn't be able to ship international until Saturday February  10.

Now on a lighter note, of course I will add the usual "goodies" I always add on these destashes :)
Thank you for your purchase!

1. "Tribal" package


2. Big beads


3. Gemlover's (faux malachite)


4. Gemlover's (amethyst and heart cane)


 5. Gemlover's (amethyst mother of pearl)


6. Cane lover


7. Under the sea

Destash over, please wait for next one

8. Delicate blue

9. Celtic
Destash over, please wait for next one

10. Flower girl

Destash over, please wait for next one

11. Colored game


12. Artsy


Thursday, February 1, 2018

New website layout but no Clay with me on Feb 4th

I intended originally to do just a mild upgrade to my website and leave a major overhaul for summer.
Unfortunately, when attempting (repeatedly) to do the simple upgrade, I was unsuccessful due to the fact that the main frame was too old and not supporting the new extensions I wanted to install.
So I had to go to the extreme overhaul that wasn't planned yet, and just pull the whole website down, and install a new frame from scratch, so I could implement the new extensions.

The con? The website is down, hopefully it will be down only til late afternoon today. Honestly the length of how long it will be down depends only on how much the muscles on my back are acting up on me having to sit for so long in front of the computer.

So, before explaining what the new website will be like, let me briefly touch on the "why no Clay with me" this coming Sunday.

As I have briefly explained before, I am in chronic pain. Severe chronic pain. The pain does not have just one cause, it's a combination of several life-long side effects of the breast cancer treatment I went through 8 years ago. I am not going to go to much in depth on this, suffice to say that the breast reconstruction I had (with a plastic surgeon that hadn't performed this surgery on a former athlete before and didn't think ahead of time of the long-term consequences it would bring) involved removing the Latissimus Dorsi muscles from my back, tunneling them under the arm and bringing them to the front. The problem is, being a former gymnast and swimmer, that muscle was very developed and had a major influence in holding my torso upright. The remaining muscles on my back cannot compensate, so if I sit on stand for more than 15-20 minutes at a time without changing position, my back muscles "catch on fire".  After a "clay with me" session of 1 - 1 1/2 hours, I need several hours of laying down to recover. Normally on Sunday afternoons, that is my weekly "time off" that I spend laying on the couch watching movies. Trust me, I am not trying to put any guilt out there and I love doing the "Clay with me" lives, the problem is that if I do it, I will have practically half of the day wasted and not be able to work on the website because I'd have to recover. And THAT is a priority right now.

That is also the reason that I went back on doing most of the tutorials with subtitles instead of voice-overs. Because with the subtitles I can take breaks, while when I do voice-overs I have to sit and record the whole thing in one shot.

Now, I hope you will understand - and I promise, I will do an extra "Clay with me" live once I'm done with the website.

Now, about the new look and functionality of the website.

I went for the latest version of the platform. That means, that it is optimized for viewing from all types of devices, and it will be very mobile friendly. The layout is more visually appealing and hopefully will make things easier to find.

The sponsorship will be now streamlined. There will be no more need for you to first purchase the sponsorship through the paypal button on the website, then me to first add you to the facebook secret group and then manually activate your account on the website and set your access permissions.
Instead, there will be a streamlined subscription with several types of subscription plans, reminders, discounts, and all that. The sponsors will have free access to the paid tutorials through coupons applicable at checkout and because the system is personalized, they will be able to see exactly all their membership rewards used or not used, perks and all that. The system will automatically release their rewards after so many days of subscriptions.

Not only that, but if you choose to create an account when checking out when purchasing a tutorial, you will be able to see exactly your history. The new system also allows you to purchase "bundles" that offer a discount if you purchase more than one tutorial.

There will be a "message board" type where you can leave your questions or comments. Actually there will be two, one public and one members-only.

And that brings me to the other new feature: anyone will be now able to open an account on the website and have access to free content that is not available to non-members.

The access to my Amazon Influencer Store will be easier to find due to the new layout.

Also, the new layout will allow me to be able to make cameos of artists that I admire and support, or pieces of news, or new products I am testing.

I HOPE to be able to do a monthly newsletter, but I am not promising that, as I don't know if I will be able to do it, time-wise and health-wise.

So considering this, I hope you can understand how horribly busy I am right now trying to get everything up and functional, and why I can't possibly do a live broadcast on Sunday. I will still do the monthly chat on Saturday, as that does not imply me sitting up tense and I can lean back on my chair while talking to you. So if you have any questions, have them ready!

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Stop feeling guilty for the mess - you're an artist!

Something that I have noticed since I was a teen (and that was a subject of contention between me and Mom). 
Super organization, tidy drawers, everything set nicely in pretty folders and arranged by size in drawers, go hand in hand with a mind that lacks creativity. 
Creation has always been the result of something that went outside of the order and organized patterns. 
Evolution was always that step outside the set perimeter of steps necessary to evolve, that primordially essential step in the other direction.
 In my life, I have never encountered someone who was a real creator, who had a nice and tidily organized studio. I'm not talking about diagnosed OCD, that one in itself has a different aspect and overflows into the creative pattern, as would be the case of Yayoi Kusama. 
I am talking about regular organization like that one done by an efficient secretary or administrative assistant: lots of drawers, folders, everything where it belongs. 
People with that kind of studio are generally exceptional technicians, if you want. They make marvelously clean-cut and superbly finished pieces.
But their creation process will always need a "helping tool". For example, in the case of a painter, they'd be stuck using the same type of paint with the same type of effect because they saw it once, they learned it and it "looks good". But because of how their mind is shaped they'll never be able to get out of the pattern and try new things. The same, for a polymer clay artist, it would be, let's say, the same type of textures and mica powders and cuts, the same type of canes, or the same type of using metal bezels. Do their creations look good? Most likely, and some of them might even become famous "for their style". 
But they're locked in a rut. If they want to create something different, they can't. Because their mind can't process information differently and can't find new solution. It's not their fault. That is how they're wired. 
You don't believe me? Would you believe science then? Many studies have shown this direct correlation in the patterns of thinking and organization of one own's surroundings. Here's just one example from the Association of Psychological Science:

 Tidy Desk or Messy Desk? Each Has Its Benefits: 

So, if your work table is full of pieces of scrap, the two acrylic paint bottles you've tried something with yesterday and you always have to make room for your current project, don't be upset. All the geniuses in the history of humankind were messy people. 

You're not just an artist. You're a CREATOR.

Sunday, January 7, 2018

How to design your jewelry

A very common complaint in the polymer clay jewelry makers' world (and not only) is "I don't understand what is going on? I'm making tons of jewelry, I even lowered the prices a lot, and I still don't sell! Others sell like crazy and I don't understand why, my jewelry is so much better!"

Well, a lot of times it's not the exposure. It's not Etsy growing so big that you get lost in the crowd or - in the case of your own website - your website not getting enough exposure in google searches.

It's just the fact that you did not do a proper market research.

Art jewelry is beautiful, it's exquisite, unfortunately it doesn't sell well. If your goal is to make a living - more or less decent - from selling jewelry you make yourself, you have to really study your market potential. And take into consideration as well the fact that the market is practically inundated with cheap jewelry (from China or not)

Let's say you make gorgeous elven pendants or Goddess pendants. Who is going to wear those? You have two groups here: late teens-early 20s and the wider age range of the Pagan/agnostic community (or somewhere in between). Also, your jewelry will be worn on special occasions, not on an every day basis. Both of the groups your jewelry is addressing, as a majority, do not make a lot of money. So it is more likely that they'll prefer a cheap Chinese made knock-off of a movie fad something so they have money left to get some of that awesome blue hair dye or do their nails with rhinestones.

Or you make absolutely breathtaking big statement pieces that take a couple of days to make, are pure art, but they just sit there in your store and nobody buys them. Why? Because, unless you have Lady Gaga as your established client, your potential clientele is either young and as such doesn't have a lot of money to spare, or, if they're women in their 30s and 40s, unless they are a Mecena and like to encourage artists as a habit, they'll choose a statement piece from a well known artist, even if they pay 10 times the price of your piece. This is not to say that your piece is not as beautiful as the one of the established artist, but you're not known, and as such, can't yet be a "statement" subject in a conversation.

Should you stop making your pendants or statement pieces that you love so much? Definitely not. Just, you know, diversify a bit. How?

It will take a bit of work, and you'll have to do it periodically, every month or at least every 6 weeks, because the market changes a bit.

First, establish your demographics by buying capability. With the internet being so in-depth informative nowadays, it's not hard to find out which age range of the population generally makes more money. Don't go for the higher income - you don't offer what they're looking for. Go for the average income, especially blue and white collar professions and customer service. They need to look pretty on a daily basis, and after paying all the bills, have some left over that they can funnel in that direction.

Then get the latest color and shape trends of the season. Get into a few forums that might discuss fashion and the latest trends. Start creating from there.

Let's say, this spring The New York Trend forecasting talks about these colors.

What about the patterns forecast for Spring 2018? Simple, there are several websites that can give you that. If you look HERE, you will notice that you can make a lot of those pattern trends easily in polymer clay. If you make your jewelry in tone with the trend, it will sell better.

Give it some thought. Then maybe you'll want to revamp your whole approach to selling jewelry online.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Book Review: "400 Polymer Clay Designs: A Collection of Dynamic & Colorful Contemporary Work "

This book is an absolute delight. Art piece after art piece, in the most diverse styles possible, in a way, it is also a history of polymer clay. Great names of the polymer clay art, from Nan Roche to Barbara McGuire to Kathleen Dustin to Sandra McCaw - and many many others - take you through a journey of inspiration and delight. Pieces made in imitative techniques, pieces inspired by the Art Nouveau or Art Deco movement or by the carvings of the neolithic man, alien looking plants by Jeff Denver, Kathleen Dustin's handbags, figurines, tables, decorative objects, canes like you've never thought a cane may look like before, exquisite jewelry - you will be hooked for hours.

A must have.

Destash February 6. 2018

Destash packages, each package cost is $20, cost of shipping for small flat rate box is $7.05, so a total of $27.05 PLEASE READ BELOW IF IN...